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Wednesday News: Reckless abandon

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LAW ENFORCEMENT REJECTS PERMITLESS CONCEALED-CARRY EFFORT: With the state House poised to debate legislation Wednesday ending the requirement that people obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina, law enforcement agencies around the state are lining up in opposition to the measure. House Bill 746 would allow any U.S. citizen 18 or over who legally owns a gun to carry it concealed without a permit anywhere he or she can carry it openly, except where prohibited. Concealed carry permits are issued through a county sheriff's office, which conducts a criminal background check and looks for records of mental illness or incapacity. Applicants must also be at least 21 years old and must show they have passed an eight-hour gun safety class. "They're getting some training. They're getting some knowledge of the law. But just to say, 'You're 18 years old, take a gun and go,' that bothers me," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Tuesday.
http://www.wral.com/law-enforcement-opposes-proposal-to-relax-concealed-gun-rules/16746405/

Tuesday News: Punish the leaker, not the perpetrator

TRUMP'S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ARRESTS CONTRACTOR WHO LEAKED RUSSIAN HACKING DOCUMENT: An intelligence contractor was charged with sending a classified report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to the news media, the Justice Department announced Monday, the first criminal leak case under President Donald Trump. The case showed the department’s willingness to crack down on leaks, as Trump has called for in complaining that they are undermining his administration. His grievances have contributed to a sometimes tense relationship with the intelligence agencies he oversees. The Justice Department announced the case against the contractor, Reality Leigh Winner, 25, about an hour after the national-security news outlet The Intercept published the apparent document, a May 5 intelligence report from the National Security Agency.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article154527754.html

Monday News: One-Term Pat

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MCCRORY TAKES JABS AT COOPER, WHINES ABOUT VOTER ID ABSENCE: McCrory, a Republican who lost to Cooper last November, had strong words for his successor on Hurricane Matthew relief efforts and on the lawsuits between the governor and legislature. “Shame on Gov. Cooper for trying to blame President Trump” for the government’s slow response to Hurricane Matthew funding, McCrory said. “Don’t blame someone else for the lack of leadership.” The former governor also had advice for the legislature. Republican House and Senate leaders were in the crowd at the NCGOP convention. “I know for a fact that we had a lot of noncitizens that were voting,” McCrory said. “Ladies and gentlemen, voter ID would have stopped it. Keep it a clean bill, stay with a voter ID law and get that passed.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article154239819.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATURE'S BUDGET: MORE COMFORT FOR THE COMFORTABLE: Want to know what the priorities and motives are for the leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly? The budgets produced by the state House and Senate provide a clear view. The themes are consistent in both documents -- those who already have the most, get even more. And those with the greatest need are considered freeloaders who refuse to work and want to bilk state government to finance their indolence. So what if we prevent 500,000 people from getting health insurance? They could get a job if they just tried – particularly the elderly and children. How responsible is it to continue to spend millions on private school vouchers when there is practically no accountability or transparency in where the money goes nor how the students perform academically? Not to mention that some of the schools discriminate on admissions.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-legislature-s-budget-more-comfort-for-the-comfortable/16735398/

Saturday News: AHCA dead in the Senate?

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BURR SAYS NO HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL LIKELY THIS YEAR: U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said Thursday he doesn’t expect the Senate to agree on a comprehensive plan to repeal and replace Obamacare by the end of the year. Burr, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said the America Health Care Act the House passed is “dead on arrival” in the Senate and “it’s not a good plan.” In May, Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis told a conservative group in downtown Raleigh that he and his colleagues in the Senate would wait for a nonpartisan financial analysis of the health bill to be released, but that they would work to address needed changes to the House version of the bill. “I’m confident we’re going to get a bill to the president’s desk,” Tillis said at the time.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article15...

Friday News: Mixed messages

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PENTAGON WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, EVEN IF TRUMP IS NOT: President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement puts him at odds with the Pentagon, which has been warning for years that climate change poses a critical national security threat. At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called climate change a “driver of instability” that “requires a broader, whole-of-government response.” For more than a decade, military leaders have said that extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels are aggravating social tensions, destabilizing regions and feeding the rise of extremist groups like al Qaida and the Islamic State.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article153908859.html

Thursday News: Trump's America

SECOND HANGMAN'S NOOSE LEFT IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSEUM AT SMITHSONIAN: Tourists found a noose Wednesday on the floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the second left at a Smithsonian site in less than a week, officials said. The gallery containing an exhibit on segregation was closed for about three hours while U.S. Park Police investigated the incident in the nation's capital, Smithsonian officials said. "The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans, ..." Bunch said. "This was a horrible act, but a stark reminder of why our work is so important." Another noose had been found Friday on the grounds of the Hirshhorn Museum, which features contemporary art and culture.
http://www.wral.com/noose-found-inside-smithsonian-s-african-american-museum/16735167/

Wednesday News: 3rd time's the charm

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GERRYMANDERED LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS SENT BACK TO NC SUPREME COURT: A challenge to election maps drawn in 2011 that has twice come before the N.C. Supreme Court will return for a third pass before a court that has shifted since its most recent review from a Republican to a Democratic majority. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order that sent a lawsuit filed by former Democratic state legislator Margaret Dickson for another review by North Carolina’s highest court. The order tells the North Carolina justices to reconsider its 2015 decision upholding the maps in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week that found lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing congressional districts in 2011.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article15...

Tuesday News: Theatre of the Absurd

RUSSIAN COMPLAINS ABOUT SECRET MEETINGS BEING EXPOSED BY LEAKS TO US MEDIA: Speaking to Russian news agencies on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: "You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow: maybe you'll see what you discussed with your counterpart on the pages of Washington Post or on CNN." Ryabkov did not elaborate, but added that the communication with the Trump administration is currently "on the basic level" because he "wouldn't tell my counterparts in Washington what I wouldn't be able to tell you." Ryabkov's comments came several days after top White House adviser Jared Kushner faced allegations that he tried to create back-channel communications with Russia.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article153310864.html

Monday News: Another failure under his belt

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TRUMP'S G-7 AND NATO PERFORMANCES ALIENATE ALLIES: The sense of a White House under intensified siege was heightened by the sobering comments from Merkel, Europe's most powerful politician. "Naturally, we'll maintain our friendship with the United States ... wherever possible," Merkel said. "But we have to realize that we Europeans are going to have to fight on our own behalf." Although Trump touted "big results" in a tweet Sunday about his Europe trip, Merkel's comments marked a potentially far-reaching negative assessment of his meetings with European Union officials and NATO heads of state in Brussels and the leaders of major industrialized nations at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article153197414.html

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